One of the highlights of blogging for me has been discovering so many small artisan producers of real quality. I feel a mixture of excitement and a little trepidation when I know there is a new product on its way for me to sample, to come up with a recipe for or to match a wine to. One sample that I got recently was lamb chorizo from Sarah Redman of Creeside Charcuterie. Now if you read this blog regularly then you’ll know how much I love chorizo, when it comes to flavour intensity per gram it’s right up there at the top, a mouthful of spicy sunshine. However lamb chorizo was very new to me, probably to most people.
Based in South Ayrshire in the beautiful south west of Scotland Creeside Charcuterie is a fledgling business based on the family 200 acre working beef & sheep farm. Sarah has started to make a selection of artisan charcuterie using her own home reared Black Face lamb and other locally sourced ingredients. But what was the chorizo like? Well to me it was fantastic, there was a lovely spiced flavour followed by a little heat and then just when you were wondering where the lamb came into it there it was with a long meaty finishing flavour that filled your mouth. I could quite happily have eaten the whole thing like a lollipop. However I wanted to cook with it too to see how it would combine with other flavours when the wonderful orange fat came out in the pan, a glorious sight if ever there was one.
Given that it was the middle of summer it had to be a salad. A kind of Greek, Nicoise, Tuscan style collection of ingredients with the chorizo given pride of place. Chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, queen olives, crumbled feta tumbled onto a plate. The sliced chorizo cooked in the pan until crispy, the cooking finished with a splash of sherry vinegar. With the chorizo removed but the juices still in the pan roughly cut Tuscan bread fried to crispy croutons. Everything mixed together and topped with shredded basil and a splash of olive oil. Simple, clean flavours full of freshness and with each mouthful the rich chorizo shining through.
I think it’s wonderful what Sarah is doing and I really look forward to trying more of her wares, smoked lamb, speciality sausages, pate, terrines and much much more. If you’re interested you can follow on Twitter or Facebook.